Sunday, January 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


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Musharraf bans LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad

Islamabad, January 12
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf tonight banned the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), blamed for the terrorist attack on Parliament House, but ruled out handing over their leaders to India even as he announced a series of decisions to crack down on Islamic extremism.

The Pakistan President also banned the Islamic Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Shi’ite Tehrik-e-Jafria, which have been accused of throwing grenades into each other’s mosques.

In an hour-long nationally telecast address, General Musharraf ruled out handing over of any Pakistani national included in the list of 20 terrorists wanted by India.

While refusing to hand over any Pakistani citizens sought by India in connection with the December 13 attack on Parliament House, the assault on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and other crimes, General Musharraf said that if the government found evidence against them “we will try them in our country”.

He also said that the non-Pakistanis named in the Indian list had not been given asylum in this country. “If they are found here then we will think of taking appropriate action against them,” he said.

During the much-awaited address, the Pakistani President, dressed in a black “achkan”, appeared tense in sharp contrast to his usual flamboyant style. He appeared to be rambling during the first half of the address before announcing specific decisions against extremism and terrorism.

Stating that “Kashmir runs in our blood”, General Musharraf declared that Pakistan would never “budge an inch” from its principled stand on Kashmir: “But no organisation would be allowed to indulge in terrorism in the name of Kashmir”, he said.

Addressing Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, the military ruler recalled the Indian leader’s recent statement that mindsets had to be altered and historical baggage had to be jettisoned.

“I take you on this offer and let us start talking in this spirit,” he told Mr Vajpayee.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s “moral, political and diplomatic” support to the Kashmir “cause” but said the issue had to be solved in a peaceful manner through dialogue taking into consideration the wishes of the people there and the UN resolution.

He warned India that any attempt to cross its border would be met with “full force”. “Till the last drop of blood, the forces would protect the country,” General Musharraf said.

He said all madarsas in the country should be registered by March-end this year. He said no new religious schools would be opened without the permission of the government.

He said foreign students would have to seek permission from their countries besides no-objection certificate from the government to study in these schools. PTI

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf spoke to the nation on Saturday. The following are the highlights of his speech:

* Any group found involved in December 13 attack on Parliament House & October 1 attack on J&K Assembly to be dealt with severely

* Rules out handing over of Pakistanis wanted by India

* Considers taking appropriate action against non-Pakistanis wanted by India

* Offers fresh dialogue with Vajpayee on Kashmir

* Pledges to continue moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause

* Warns India against crossing border 


Pervez discussed speech with Powell

Washington, January 12
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf discussed some aspects of his address to the nation with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said here today.

General Musharraf, in the address, is expected to unveil more steps to tackle sectarian and militant groups operating in and from Pakistan.

“We look forward to hearing what President Musharraf has to say. The Secretary has been talking to him about the kinds of steps that he has been taking against extremism and terrorism, the kinds of steps he intends to continue to take, the direction he intends to go.

“That has been, in a more general sense, part of our discussions with Pakistan for some time, including the Secretary’s discussions last time.

“So, yes, we have some idea about what he intends to do and what he intends to say. But in the end, it is for him to say and for him to announce, for him to do what he decides. We will see what he says when he says it,’’ Mr Boucher told reporters at his daily briefing.

He declined to go through the specifics of the discussions General Musharraf had with General Powell.

“He has been hearing from President Musharraf about the kinds of steps he was looking to take, the kinds of actions he was looking to announce, so we will have to see what he says. But we have been working with the parties all along, talking to each of them about the overall situation, about the need for a political and diplomatic solution, about the futility of conflict in this matter, and about the kinds of steps that they could be taking to stop the buildup, reduce the tensions, and find the political and diplomatic solution that we all say we want,’’ he said.

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